The market for classic Holdens is showing no signs of cooling down. A pair of historically important and low kilometre examples are set for sale at the latest Lloyd’s Auction – a 1988 VL Walkinshaw Group A SS and a 1990 VN Commodore Group A SS.
The former is the first road-going product of Tom Walkinshaw’s partnership with Holden that spawned Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) alongside the original Holden Racing Team (HRT).
The latter is the company’s early ‘90s hero sedan, which was used as the foundation for the Holden touring car of the era; raced by the likes of Peter Brock, Larry Perkins and Win Percy.
Both are homologation specials, effectively racing cars for the road that the then Group A touring car regulations required. Car makers have to produce 5000 road cars before a racing version could be made; hence the low-volume Ford Sierra Cosworth and Nissan GT-R of the day.
These particular examples are expected to fetch top dollar thanks to their immaculate condition. The VN has just 182km on the odometer in the 31 years it has existed, which Lloyds’ believes could make it the lowest kilometre example in the country. It’s also rare, build number 180 of just 302 VN Group A SS that were manufactured.
The Walkinshaw SS Group A has done more kays, but only slightly, with the odometer reading just 1479km on this 33-year-old sports sedan. Tom Walkinshaw stepped in and established HSV in the wake of Brock’s high-profile split with Holden which forced the successful HDT road car operation to close.
1988 Holden VL Walkinshaw SS Group A
Lot Number: 393
Model: VL Walkinshaw
Series: SS Group A
Drive Type: Rear Wheel Drive
Odometer: Indicating 1,479 Kilometers
Engine: 5.0L litre V8
Transmission: 5 speed Manual
Colour: Panorama Silver
This has to be one of the lowest kilometre examples in the country with having only travelled 1,479 kilometres, build No 439/750, completely original condition, 2 keys. What an incredible opportunity to own arguably the most collectable VL Walkinshaw SS Group A in the country!
Holden Special Vehicles, operated by Tom Walkinshaw, was established in 1988 to replace HDT following Holden’s widely publicised split with Peter Brock in 1987 and the first model offered by the new performance tuning operation was the radical Group A SS based on the then current VL Commodore.
Built between March and November 1988 in very limited numbers (a total of 750 were made) to homologate the car for Bathurst, the Walkinshaw Commodore boasted a highly tuned 5-litre V8 with Delco EFI producing 180kW of power and 380Nm of torque. A five-speed Borg-Warner T56 manual gearbox, Turbo 6/V8 brakes and 16 by 7-inch alloy wheels on 225/55 VR16 tyres were clothed in a dramatic body kit whose most arresting feature was the built-up boot-lid spoiler.
Engine number: VP576967
1990 Holden VN Group A SS Build #180
Lot Number: 390
Series: VN GROUP A SS
Drive Type: Rear Wheel Drive
Odometer: Indicating 182 klms
Engine: 5.0L V8 Petrol
Transmission: 5 Speed Manual
Build No #180, could be the lowest kilometre VN SS in Australia, Immaculate presentation of this Iconic model, 2 keys, never been registered, includes all original paperwork, logbooks/owners manual and build sheet.
When selecting cars for their potential to increase in value it’s important to tick a number of boxes, namely, rarity, heritage and desirability. The VN Commodore SS Group A ticks all of those boxes. Just 302 were built, they were built for racing and they’re very desirable. One of stipulations of Group A racing was that any carmaker wishing to compete had to build a run of 5000 production cars, after which they could then spin off a special racing model. It too had to be built and sold to the public, but it could have a number of special features aimed at making it a better racing car. The VN Commodore SS Group A was such a car. It was the last so-called ‘homologation special’ Holden built for Group A before the rules were changed to the current Supercar V8 formula, which doesn’t require any special models to be built in production.
The VN Group A story really began under the bonnet. The fuel-injected 5.0-litre Holden V8 was virtually all new from top to bottom and produced 210 kW at 5200 revs and 400 Nm at 4000 revs. Under full acceleration it would race from 0 to 100 km/h in just over six seconds and account for the standing 400-metre sprint in 15 or so seconds. To cope with the torque Holden engineers equipped the VN Group A with a six-speed manual ZF gearbox lifted from the American Corvette. The suspension was thoroughly reworked with higher rate front and rear springs, heavier anti-roll bars, and Bilstein shocks all round. Special Holden designed 17×8-inch alloy wheels were wrapped in 235×45 17-inch Goodyear Eagle tyres to give it the grip it needed.